Mr. Nice Guy?

Hello, Thursday fans.  Suze here.

Tonight my husband and I are taking our teenage son to see Alice Cooper play in a smallish theater in a nearby town.  Now, I’m not a huge fan of the whole horror-rock subculture (well, unless you count the Rocky Horror Picture Show, of course), but my kid has been listening to Alice’s radio show for a while now.  Since the concert is close by and the tickets are quite reasonably priced, I agreed to the trip.   I’m sending my menfolk off to the hardware store for some of those foam earplugs, and I’m going to the drugstore for some black eyeliner and hairspray, so we’ll be ready. If anything interesting happens at the concert, I’ll let you know next week!

Alice got me thinking about public versus private personae.  Alice’s stage show is over the top — loud music, black leather, chains, lots of hair and scary makeup.  He’s the godfather of the shock-rock genre.

He’s also, by all accounts, a very decent guy.  In real life, he’s been married to the same woman since 1976 (35 years!), lives a clean, rather religious life, has three seemingly well-adjusted grown children, and plays a lot of golf.

Alice is an extreme example, obviously.   What about you?  Writers often work under a pen name, some under several.  How do you keep them straight?  Is there a dichotomy between the faces you present in your professional and personal lives?  Do tell!

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9 thoughts on “Mr. Nice Guy?”

  1. I don’t think I’m clever enough to manage two personas. What you see is what you get with me! But I love hearing that Alice Cooper is just an ordinary suburban dad with a wicked cool job!

  2. I keep thinking about using a pen name but I go back and forth. Right now I don’t want to because so much of who I am is in what I write. As for keeping my professional life and personal life separate I am an open book.

  3. Call me Sybil! I’ve got one too many persona’s right now. First and foremost, I’m Jen to friends and acquaintances, Jennifer to strangers and Mrs. Moncuse to the kids (future) friends. That’s the real me. But I’m also J Monkeys, the children’s book writer and I’m Vivienne Ylang, scribe of racy adults-only type stories. Why the 3 personas you ask? Judy Bloom. I loved Judy Bloom books as a 4th and 5th grader. I loved Are you there God, it’s me Margaret in 4th grade and Forever and Wifey in 5th grade. My mom didn’t realize that Forever and Wifey were WILDLY inappropriate for my 11 year old self ’cause they were written by Judy Bloom. I wanted to separate the two and be a bit more obvious about what was kid-worthy and what wasn’t.

  4. I think I’m pretty much the same publicly and privately — although the at-home Suze is snarkier and wears more unattractive (comfortable) clothes.

  5. Although I’m pretty much a private person, what you see is what you get. Although I may wear a lot of different “hats” at any given time, the person under those hats is always simply just me.

  6. It is wonderful to have two lives or maybe even more, at the same time. You get to play act most of the time. Trouble is how to remember which one is on and which one is off. Fun post!

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